Bulgaria at Czech Republic
|Date & Time||Friday June 7, 2019, 2:45 PM (EDT)|
Prague, Czech Republic
Czech Republic -175, Bulgaria +500, Over 2.5 (+125), Under 2.5 (-163)
|TV Channel||Stream live sports and ESPN originals on-demand on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
Czech Republic is welcoming Bulgaria in round 3 of Euro Cup qualification.
Czechs are a solid young team with a bright future led by Patrik Schick and Pavel Kaderabek who are their best players. In their last game in these qualifications against England, Czech Republic was absolutely demolished and had only 34% of ball possession, 2 shots on goal and low 75% of correct passes and have lost 5-0. Czechs have won only 3 of their last 8 games and have conceded 8 goals in their last 2 games while scoring only 1 goal. Jaroslav Silhavy was signed as a head coach in September of 2018 and if Czech Republic form and results don’t improve soon, Silhavy won’t be the head coach for much longer. This young Czech Republic team is a way too talented to stay in this slump for much longer and in a group, A of these qualifications with England, Bulgaria, Kosovo and Montenegro, Czech's chances to qualify for Euro Cup are pretty good. Being ranked as 48th national team in FIFA standings, Czechs are right where they are supposed to be at the moment with the form and game style they have. This is an important game for the Czech Republic where they will try to bounce back from a tough loss against England and get their offense going.
Bulgaria’s days of power and fame are long gone and while this team is solid, their chances of qualifying are not good. Bulgaria is riding a 5-game streak without a win with 4 straight 1-1 draws in last 4 games. Bulgaria’s best player is Ivelin Popov who will be in the lineup in this game as well. In their last game against Kosovo, Bulgaria was just terrible with only 37% of ball possession, 2 shots on goal and low 73% of correct passes, Bulgaria managed to get a 1-1 draw only thanks to Kosovo’s bad offense. Bulgaria is set on the 51st place in FIFA standings and in my opinion, this is a way too high for a team without a game plan, no ambitions and a team whose soccer association has been a mess for years now. With no clear goal and no investments in youth development, Bulgarian national squad and Bulgarian soccer association’s future looks dark. Krasimir Balakov was signed just a few weeks ago as a head coach in what seems to be a try to get this sinking ship to stay afloat, but there isn’t much that coach can do if he doesn’t have players with the potential to call up to Bulgaria’s national squad. Bulgaria has started these qualifications with 2 draws but I think that both Montenegro and the Czech Republic have better teams and will compete for second place, behind England.
Czechs and Bulgarians have played only 3 games with the Czech Republic winning 2 while one game ended in a 0-0 draw. It’s hard to predict how the teams will play since their last games were 3 months ago, but because Czechs are a better team in better form and have more quality, I think that the Czech Republic will snap their losing streak in front of their fans here.